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  • skkott 3:34 am on Sunday, November 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Fascinating article on Hitler, his reading habits and his forgotten book collection…


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  • skkott 4:23 am on Friday, November 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    The mystery of “Rahul” finally solved:… 

    The mystery of “Rahul” finally solved: http://tinyurl.com/yjwtbae

    • heath 12:20 pm on Friday, November 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I like the refined sarcasm, over certain points, in the article. SRK indeed. 🙂

      • skkott 1:08 pm on Friday, November 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        SRK happened to play memorable characters named “Rahul” in several of his romantic flicks. So the suspicion was that Rahul could be a code word for SRK. When the word came out that “Rahul” was some “famous” film actor, I thought Rahul Bose or Rahul Khanna (both were intentblog contributors) could be the one.

  • skkott 9:29 am on Thursday, November 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: assholes, child safety, desperation, domestic abuse, rage   

    “I’m scared. And I’m really f@cking angry.” 



    • heath 9:48 am on Thursday, November 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      the grandma-author, was she standing there taking notes? how does she know these details? how does her heart let her share this misery with strangers? what is she doing to make the lives of her family members better? to spend such writing and rewriting this, then posting it where it will be read by so many, what’s the value of that to her if this is a true story about her family?

      • heath 9:56 am on Thursday, November 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        have read the part of the addendum where she writes, “…but this really happened, all of it happened…”

        and that’s the clincher, for me. she protesteth too much. it’s too well-written, too detailed, too well-balanced to be credible as a report of something that recently happened to close famiiy members. unless the writer is a sociopath, that is. in which case, the story was written by the hands of the person who may have created an original dysfunction which spun this misery out, years later.

        • ed 5:01 pm on Thursday, November 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

          I believe the story is basically true, adrenaline fired in all its aspects, including the writing.

          There’s certainly a covert thread of mischief in the writing, Heath, but I think most families would provide such material, albeit on differing levels. I wouldn’t pin the dysfunction on any one….I see it’s a collective dysfunction and the heroine is well on the way to break free. I’m sorry for the step-dad, as well!

          Peaceful here, ennit!

      • skkott 10:04 am on Thursday, November 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        She is a kossack (a Daily Kos member). Although DKos is a community political blog, they share a lot of personal and non-political stuff among themselves. So I am not surprised by the fact that she wrote a diary with such content.

        She is an active member, her previous diaries and comments can be found here: http://got-a-grip.dailykos.com/ I haven’t gone through it, but it may provide some indication of her approach and intent…and perhaps help us understand her better.

        • skkott 10:23 am on Thursday, November 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

          Couple of observations from her previous diaries:

          1) She attended Netroots Nation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netroots_Nation ) 2009 progressive bloggers’ convention. (Organized every year by Daily Kos.) Thousands of ordinary Kossacks attended this conference. There is a lot of bonding that happens in the community.

          2) She posted diaries with an interval of months. This indicates that she is not an attention seeker kind of member who posts prolifically with provocative titles on a regular basis. She posted only 4 diaries in the past year but posted more than 500 comments, which again is a very healthy ratio. She posted a total of 26 diary entries since 2006. Which is also healthy.

        • skkott 11:39 am on Thursday, November 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

          She made 80 posts responding to comments(of over 800, in total) in the thread. Its always interesting to read discussions at DKos. I consider myself a kossack too:)

          • heath 5:13 pm on Thursday, November 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

            80 replies tells me the interchange is giving her energy. the post seems self-serving, if it’s real. either it’s part or full fiction, or she was a passive bystander and did nothing to stop the beatings. one can be an enthusiastic blogger, even a talented one, and still not be authentic in the stories one is sharing. how much energy and talent did we see at IB, and how much lying was woven into that? a lot. my reaction to this piece — gut-level — is that it’s a fraud (at least in part). the fact that money’s been offered, and ostensibly turned down — for now — underscores the lack of authenticity, for me.

            imagine this to be a true account . imagine you are an angel hovering over the scene… ex-husband returns home, plastered and belligerent, late at night. enters former wife’s room. grandma blogger is either still up, or has to climb out of bed. she stands in the hallway, notepad and pen in hand, recording the events in accurate detail. sounds do-able, yes? no. or this one: ex-husband returns home, plastered and belligerent, late at night. enters former wife’s room. grandma is too horrified at what’s going down, and is too scared on her own behalf to do anything — even call the cops or keep her granddaughters out of the way! so she watches, hidden, and decides to write about it later as a way of getting revenge and justice when the danger (to herself) has passed. this one’s a maybe. or this one: ex-husband returns home, plastered and belligerent, late at night. enters former wife’s room. grandma isn’t there. she interviews the participants later, several times each, to be sure she is getting their stories accurately. then she begins to write… but isn’t it a known fact that witness and participants don’t remember things accurately, that they conflate, forget, exaggerate, and make stuff up, unconsciously? all of these possible scenarios allow for some truth. none of them reflect well on the grandma. grandma is either so emotionally distant she might as well be the wall, or a chicken unable to defend her loved ones, or more interested in writing a story than healing her family. she says they’re hillbillies who take care of their own. jeez, hillbillies write this well? doin’ a good job, grandma. this smells totally fraudulent to me.

            one of the best reporters for a major daily was exposed as a fraud a few years ago. I think it was the NYT. even his editors bought his stories. this blog just vibrates b-s, to me.

            • skkott 9:55 pm on Thursday, November 12, 2009 Permalink

              “80 replies tells me the interchange is giving her energy.”

              Not responding to comments in your own diary entry at dkos is considered to be a bad practice. So the number is not off base. I read some of the comments, I find them consistent.

              “the fact that money’s been offered, and ostensibly turned down — for now — underscores the lack of authenticity, for me. ”

              Daily Kos raises a lot of funds, not just for political races but for charity and other causes identified by a member in a diary; it could be a homeless person or someone you know who is without a health insurance. They also raise funds for a member in desperate financial needs. But having spend some time at dkos you would know that money needs to be raised in the community to those who ‘really’ need it badly.

              “one of the best reporters for a major daily was exposed as a fraud a few years ago. ”

              Of course there is a notable difference here though; there was a financial reward(,fame) in there.

              I am with Ed on this. I believe the story is true. Just not the fact that she is there watching it live. Its a way of telling story from what she learned and having known the family.

          • heath 12:19 pm on Friday, November 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply

            I wish we were angels, and could see into the future. I’d make a wager on this. You and Ed have had your heart-strings plucked.

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  • skkott 1:54 pm on Sunday, November 8, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Twilight Samurai   

    Hey anyone seen the movie Twilight Samur… 

    Hey anyone seen the movie Twilight Samurai(2002)? I generally look at imdb user ratings, rottentomatoes’ review ratings and the wiki article on the film when deciding on watching a random movie on TV. While browsing channels the other day, this Japanese movie came up and I was soon engrossed in it and didn’t bother to check the ratings out. I loved the film. It was indeed a classic.

    I agree with an imdb reviewer who called this movie “A Samurai flick Jane Austen would love”.


    • heath 9:09 pm on Sunday, November 8, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the alert about a very fine movie. After reading your post, watched it on Netflix.
      love, h

      • skkott 3:20 am on Monday, November 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        It was a pleasant surprise watching a Samurai movie so different from Last Samurai, Seven Samurai, and Kill Bill types.

        I kinda have fun predicting the plot of a movie. I happen to be very good at this while watching desi(Indian) movies; they are so predictable:) Towards the end of this film, there was one scene in Twilight where I anticipated how the story might end, but it didn’t happen that way. Its when “Twilight” calls Tomoe to dress him up for his big fight. The scene before it, she has an argument with her sister-in-law when she objects to her attempt to meet Twilight who has just left. Tomoe asks why it is ‘wrong’ to talk with a Samurai in public and her SiL, clearly taken aback, says a young woman shouldn’t question the judgment of her elders. Back to Tomoe and Twilight, she asks him “why you are doing this?”(fight to death) and he says that he was ordered by the clan and that even though he is petty, he is still a Samurai. This is when I expected–partly for selfish reasons’ for his survival and their possible union and/or partly for ‘enlightened’ reasons–she would talk him out of the fight(or at least make an attempt to) , that he can ‘question’ the judgment of his clan leaders and make his own decision…. But this didn’t happen that way. She just remains silent, just like she was when her SiL has the last word. On hindsight, it would have been radical if Twilight having given his word didn’t go to fight and they both eloped, but perhaps unrealistic and may not have fit into the overall nature of the story that would reflect the Japanese society during that period in history.

        • heath 5:37 am on Monday, November 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply

          I think you’re right about rebelliousness not fitting the time.

          52 minutes into the movie, Sebei Iguchi is leaving the warehouse. There’s a cut to a long shot, taken from the side of the warehouse, outside, warehouse on the left. The shot is asymmetrical, with the left third of the screen filled with dark warehouse, the right two-thirds with paler lane and vegetation. Smoke rises from the far side of the warehouse, curling pale against dark clouds. There’s a distant rumble of thunder. Iguchi steps into the lane, looking determined, worried and serious, and moves towards us. The focuses us on the key elements of smoke and thunder, then Iguchi’s movement. It was so simple and spare, so effective at telling us that trouble is on the way, so stunning, that I put the movie on hold and started to write a comment here.

        • heath 5:43 am on Monday, November 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply

          Oh, I forgot to say, I have been watching Kaminey off and on. It puts me to sleep, I don’t know why, so I never finish it — I watch for ten minutes and I’m sleeping. So I’m advancing through it slowly. The reason I don’t give up is Shahid Kapoor’s performance as Charlie. He does both roles really well, but he is masterful in his timing, with Charlie. He keeps a tense balance between energy and quiet, grace and awkwardness, in the Charlie character, which Hiroyuki Sanada’s portrayal of Sebei Iguchi very much reminds me of. His facial expressions are beautiful to watch, too, as are Hiroyuki Sanada’s. Hiroyuki Sanada on Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroyuki_Sanada

          • skkott 10:01 am on Monday, November 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply

            Haven’t seen Kaminey but having read the plot summary from wiki I understand why people fall asleep watching the film. It is long, complicated plot; which Ithink might suit a television series better. The director, Vishal Baradwaj, is noted for adapting Shakespeare plays(Macbeth: Maqbool, Othello: Omkara) to Indian screen. I saw Omkara, the direction was good (the actors were great), but it too put me to sleep 😉 I tried to watch Maqbool several times in the past but never finished it. Maybe it is about the director; he tends to be an art-film type more than bollywood-masala filmmaker. His association with lyricist/director Gulzar might explain it. If I remember correctly Mukesh did some work with Gulzar too.

            • skkott 10:23 am on Monday, November 9, 2009 Permalink

              Heath and others, can you recommend some good (fiction)books to read and English movies to watch? I would like to present a couple of books to a special friend who is visiting… She has no particular preference in genre as such. She isn’t a heavy reader of books and watches any sort of (English)movie that is entertaining. Some of the books she read and loved include Gone with the Wind, Life of Pi, Kite Runner(,Thousand Splendid Suns; The portrayal of life in Afghan under Taliban, she said disturbed her for many days) and Revolutionary Road. As to the kind of movies she like, she watched Sean Penn directed “Into the wild” and liked it while she hated horror movie “Hostel”. She doesn’t mind watching ghost-type horror movies, but finds it hard to understand why people make/watch movies like SAW and Hostel series.

              She is recently married and lives in UK with her husband who is also a practicing physician like her. Now that she has cleared some medic exams and got a PR in UK and settled in her practice, and “got used to her husband” as she put it, she has some time to read. She was discussing Revolutionary Road which she read on flight back home(India); she really hated the husband character (portrayed by Leonardo de Caprio in the film adaptation) for “turning out to be such a loser”. I haven’t read the book (just the reviews). She said she put herself in the wife’s role(Kate Winslet character) while reading it. So as per her reading style I think she is interested in the subject of the story, more than just the story telling prowess of the authors….

              I was thinking of presenting “Atonement” to her, but I am not sure she would particularly like the subject and story. I haven’t read the book but from what I gather this one is more about story telling… I would like your opinion on this. I remember you mention Atonement (the film) in high regards. I would also like you to suggest other books/films, that are must read/watch, for my friend. She said she also likes spy/thriller novels(and movies) and other page turners that are a good and exciting to read.

          • skkott 10:49 am on Monday, November 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply

            Now that you have mentioned, I find Shaid Kapoor indeed shares similarities to Hiroyuki Sanada in facial expressions!

            • heath 7:15 pm on Monday, November 9, 2009 Permalink

              My favorite recent book is Moth Smoke, by Mohsin Hamid. If she’s OK with animation, Ratatouille, and anything by Hayao Miyasaki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hayao_Miyazaki), will be appreciated. Films: He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (2002) with Audrey Tatou. The Spanish Prisoner (1997), written and directed by David Mamet. Innocence (2000). The Illusionist (2006). The Grocer’s Son (2007). The Last Time (2006), with Micheal Keaton (his best performance, imho). The Ramen Girl (2008). Sequins (2004). Love the Hard Way (2001), with Adrian Brody. The Wind Will Carry Us (2000). Taboo (1999). War, Inc. (2008), with John Cusack. Shanghai Triad (1995). Revolver (2005), a Guy Ritchie film with Jason Stratham and Ray Liotta. Redbelt (2008), a David Mamet film. Vatel (2000) with Gerard Depardieu and Uma Thurman. I found these films to be fascinating, and memorable for various reasons. All are well-made, well-acted, well-plotted.

            • skkott 11:26 am on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 Permalink

              Thanks for the wonderful movies! I have seen only The Illusionist and Taboo in the list. I tend to watch blockbuster types and widely popular films like the ones you find in the IMDB Top list (http://www.imdb.com/chart/top ). I just noticed that i saw almost all of the top 100 in that list. Thanks for sharing the rare gems! I will sure check them out and recommend them to my friend.

  • skkott 9:12 pm on Saturday, September 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: copyright, creativity   

    Mozart and copyright http://www.dailyko… 

    Mozart and copyright


    “The copyright extremists have a myopic view of the issue that would stifled the creativity of the Mozarts of the past. Funny that the great composer would be cited as supposed support for such a myopic and regressive approach to intellectual property.”

    • heath 8:17 am on Monday, September 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Hi, Scott

      been watching myself & how I deal with a sense of ownership of what I create for a few years. the more time that passes after something is finished, the less it “belongs” to me. others who view, read or listen to a creative work add their energy to it, and change it through their interpretations and reactions. it becomes a collaboration between artist and audience. it’s like a pattern flow, too: the work to be made and the artist are on an intersecting path before the work is made. at the time of creation, the paths merge. the paths continue after creation, separately, which takes the work away from the artist. all of us know what it’s like to feel that sense of something beyond ourselves, which many people term the muse, that’s part of any act of creation. I believe all things, even those we make, have lives of their own. a work of art may not breath or drink water, but it has a point of coming into being and a point of dissolution, and the stretch of time between these two points are its life. and its life is singular and distinct from that of the artist who makes it.

      when I put a poem on a blog, or change a web page look, or do some programming, at first, I feel a sense of pride or ownership. then I feel exhausted and distant. it’s during that time that the work shifts and shifts and shifts, as it leaves me. the process used to feel disturbing. but, now that it’s happened many times, I’ve learned that this is part of the life of any work, it’s how it separates itself from me, as a child separates from its caregivers, and becomes whole and mature. now, the most interesting thing I find about a work is what it becomes after it leaves me.

      copyright allows artists, and their producers (publishers, promoters, agents, etc.) to make money off the artists’ creations, for about as long as an artist and his or her children live. long before that time, any work of art has left its creator and become something whole and separate.

      this process of constant change is part of what makes all the arts possible. by arts I mean anything that any living being does with a constructive purpose, which supports the viability of a good passage on this planet for all. that can be painting, designing, sculpting, writing, composing, making a meal, feeling and sharing love, sleeping, dancing, praying, meditating, weaving, walking, stretching, fighting, seeing, sheltering, building, problem-solving, giving.

      if change is so important to creation, it needs to be honored. it needs to be honest. it can’t be defended against.

      the movement towards tighter copyrighting is defensive. it’s due to the pressure of the fracturing producer structures, caused by web-based distribution of work, which makes it much less easy to control and much easier to lose possible revenue. I feel for creators and producers caught up in this. I felt the pinch myself nine years ago, when the dot com bubble popped, and, simultaneously, web design in the US was opened up to a web-based market with many workers from outside the US who could afford to work at 10% of what I would have had to charge. this is the reason I don’t do web design full time. I don’t have a solution. I do feel, however, that tighter rights is not the way to go. how we do business is changing, as is what we expect. people who are most worried about this are supporting heavy habits of materialism, habits which I feel are too heavy.

      too many material things surrounding us make us dull and spoiled, and destroy creative possibilities. I’ve found freedom in having less and having to respond quickly to tight money supplies, etc. the challenges keep me lean and supple, creatively. it’s like being fit. it feels good. life is a risk that we all take, and all lose at in the end. when we hold too much too close to ourselves, we limit the experiences we came to meet in our present lives, we limit what we have to give to others, we limit our creativity.

      • skkott 12:05 pm on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Nice to hear from you, heath.

        Glad to read your* deep meditation on the creative process…

        *or is it?:)

        • heath 1:44 pm on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply

          whose else? !! 😛 😀 google any of the phrases.

          I’m gearing up for my three-book-drafts marathon and my mind is settling into the right mode. I was as surprised as anyone else that (a) I commented, (b) I was coherent on the subject, and (c) I had anything to say on the subject, even. shows what the unconscious can do. it’s workin’ all the time all the time, baby.

          on another note, I read a RT today of one of DC’s sayings, and realized they’re kind of formulaic. imp-me thought, hey. lets make up a slew of nonsense sayings according to the DC sayings formula. but real-me is too busy to do it.

          hugs 🙂

          • skkott 10:09 pm on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply

            “whose else? !! 😛 😀 google any of the phrases.”

            My short comment was intended to be a meta observation…less need not always more witty 🙂 This is one of those cases.

            I was interpreting your ‘comment’ as a ”creative work’ in itself with ref. to the content , esp. the first two paragraphs; “ownership”, “belonging” and “life of it’s own”.

            “I’m gearing up for my three-book-drafts marathon”

            Best of luck with.

            A bit confused here. Are you writing(/ghostwriting) three books? Or editing drafts for three books(written by someone else)?

            “I read a RT today of one of DC’s sayings,”

            OK, RT is retweet.. DC is Chopra (Correct me if I am wrong.)

            I see he has been a bit quiet, and less confrontational, on the blogosphere front, peddling his self-help, snake oil and pseudoscience, these days while taking to twitter like a fish to water and spouting his nonsensical wisdom day in and day out.

          • skkott 10:22 pm on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply

            BTW, one has to wonder who is writing Sarah Palin’s well-written facebook notes. Googling phrases doesn’t help much (her ghostwriter uses cliched phrases, nothing unusual there). It’s certainly not her.

            Here’s a Gawker piece when SP started posting on FB after she quit as Gov. and quit Twitter:


          • skkott 10:25 pm on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply

            (This comment was supposed to be posted before the earlier one on SP[2.22 am], but didn’t went through for some reason.)

            “whose else? !! 😛 😀 google any of the phrases.”

            My short comment was intended to be a meta observation…less need not always more witty 🙂 This is one of those cases.

            I was interpreting your ‘comment’ as a ”creative work’ in itself with ref. to the content , esp. the first two paragraphs; “ownership”, “belonging” and “life of it’s own”.

            “I’m gearing up for my three-book-drafts marathon”

            Best of luck with.

            A bit confused here. Are you writing(/ghostwriting) three books? Or editing drafts for three books(written by someone else)?

            “I read a RT today of one of DC’s sayings,”

            OK, RT is retweet.. DC is Chopra (Correct me if I am wrong.)

            I see he has been a bit quiet, and less confrontational, on the blogosphere front, peddling his self-help, snake oil and pseudoscience, these days while taking to twitter like a fish to water and spouting his nonsensical wisdom day in and day out.

            • heath 12:05 am on Thursday, September 17, 2009 Permalink

              Twitter’s turning out to have some unexpected benefits. 🙂 this was the RT that caught my eye: “Insight enables you to know your own heart. Clarity enables you to accept without illusion.”

              this kind quasi-oppositional form has a name. I remember reading about it when I was skimming something about JFK and his speechwriters. can’t recall the form’s name, and am too tired to research it.

              thank you, luck would come in handy.

              a meta observation… baby, you’re too smart for me.

              Palin comes very close to making my skin crawl. I fervently hope she self-destructs. she serves as a crystalization seed, who gathers around her, and gives seeming legitimacy to, people thinking some very ugly thoughts because they feel threatened by the broader world, by multiculturalism, by doing things differently to fix old problems.

        • heath 6:09 pm on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply

          “…fracturing producer structures, caused by web-based distribution of work…” — a link to an article about publishing & change: http://grafediting.wordpress.com/2009/09/16/inside-publishing/

          • skkott 11:03 pm on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply

            That clears up a few things. Let’s see if I get it right this time:

            You are writing three drafts(before coming up with the final draft) of a book you are planning to publish.

            • heath 11:52 pm on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 Permalink

              first drafts of 3 books – a proposed series

  • skkott 1:45 pm on Friday, August 7, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, John Bolton, North Korea   

    Hillary, witty 

    “If Obama walked on water, Bolton’d say he couldn’t swim”

    Hillary Clinton in Africa speaking to CNNi’s Fareed Zakari on John Bolton attacking Bill’s trip to North Korea.

    PS. Speaking of Hillary, when she was recently in India for a 3/4 day trip, she did interviews with most national English language News channels including NDTV, CNN-IBN, Times Now. Most of it was repetitive–the questions and answers, somewhat boring. But I liked watching an hour long Teach India educational forum with Hilary and Bollywood star Aamir Khan, who does his part as a celebrity, to help educate under privileged children. Hillary seemed very involved, and I liked some of her answers to questions from the audience and the moderator. She fit right in the discussion and certainly didn’t look out of place. She empathized with Aamir, who was very passionate about the cause, some of her audience who were disheartened by the lack of results and knowing the reality of daily lives of so many children in India.

    Update: Video: Hillary Clinton, Aamir Khan with Arnab [Teach India] – Part1 , Part2, Part3, Part4

  • skkott 1:02 pm on Saturday, August 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Huffington Post   

    Pharyngula: The Huffington snake oil 

    The Huffington Post has become, in a very short period, a powerful non-traditional media platform for liberal politics. (With a readership of over 10 million unique visitors/month, almost toe-in-toe with the hugely popular NYTIMESdotcom.) But when it comes to science, it lags….Scienceblogger PZ Myers, who (along with Orac of Respectful Insolence, also at Scienceblogs) might be known to some Intentblog readers as a Deepak Chopra critic:

    Many of us have long noticed the truly awful quackery hosted at the Huffington Post, with acupuncturists, anti-vax fanatics, and general all-around kooks like Deepak Chopra given free rein.

    Now Salon has pointed out the obvious, with some depth. Have you wondered why the HuffPo is so bad on science and medicine? The blame can be pinned directly on Arianna Huffington, who hand-picked with little discrimination or sense who the ‘medical’ contributors to the site would be. That’s the scatter-brained, credulous brain of Arianna on display in that mess on HuffPo.

    Nice to see Gawker, another popular liberal outlet, comment on the Salon article:

    HuffPo’s Dangerous Quacks, Hacks and Cultists

    Salon has a great post by a doctor about medical quackery at the Huffington Post, where a columnist recently suggested colon cleansing could treat swine flu. This is the downside of HuffPo’s open, unpaid model — and culty recruiter. MORE>>

    I agree with PZ and Gawker, the blame largely lies with Arianna…as this epic NewYorker biography “The many lives of Arianna Huffington” by Lauren Collins might hint….

    Update: Orac weighs in on Dr. Rahul Parikh’s excellent Salon article:
    The Huffington Post’s war on medical science is noticed

    • heath 9:56 pm on Wednesday, August 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Have you been thinking about how these kinds of blogs are affecting news and opinion publishing, and individuals’ attitudes and decisions? Beyond being powerful tools of self-expression and interchange. they’re also becoming an unstoppable force that is shredding traditionally-distributed news media by undermining the revenue model.

      • skkott 1:55 am on Friday, August 7, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Indeed, the latest is that Rupert Murdoch is planning to charge for all his online content.

        Markos, founder of Daily Kos (a progressive community blog):

        Media and a “sense of community”
        by kos
        Mon May 11, 2009


        “All around the country, you see the major metro dailies completely ignore entire chunks of their cities. Why do you think the New York Times writes story after story after story talking about those poor unemployed Wall Street types no longer able to buy caviar or $800 doll houses for their daughters?”


        Big Media’s gambit to protect their profit margins
        by kos
        Sat Jun 06, 2009


        “Newspaper circulation peaked in 1993 (combining daily and Sunday circulation) — before the blogs, before Google, before the web. Daily circulation peaked all the way back in 1985. The industry’s problems are certainly self-inflicted, no matter who they try to blame.”

        • heath 2:54 am on Friday, August 7, 2009 Permalink | Reply

          A fine blog about this by Eric Etheridge of the NY TImes;s The Opinionaotr, titled “Murdoch Mans Up” — http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/06/murdoch-mans-up — with the focus on what Murdoch has done to dilute news reporting, and how valid his thinking is on the link model of online publishing. Btw, you may be building a position in the aggregators’ sector of the industry.

  • skkott 12:36 pm on Saturday, August 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Todd Palin   

    Todd And Sarah Palin To Divorce? 

    Alaska blogger Gryphen of Immoral Minority breaks this big scoop early in the a.m. today:

    Exclusive! Sarah and Todd Palin are Splitsville!

    Followed by Alaska Report.

  • skkott 9:02 am on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Washington Post behind the numbers: But … 

    Washington Post behind the numbers: But can she cook? “Homemaker” seems to be the best suited job for Palin, according to the public. Yes, that’s right. Only 12% of Republicans think President’s her best next job, and only 4% of independents (6% of the public overall thinks that President should be her next job.)

    Palin – Fox Explores “What Next?”

    Fox News is out with the first “what next?” poll on former governor Sarah Palin: “homemaker” tops the closed-ended list.

    Here’s the full breakdown by party identification…

    Q: What do you think is the best job for Sarah Palin
    now that she has resigned as governor of Alaska?
                             voters   Dem   Rep   Ind
    Homemaker                  32     45     18    34
    Television Talk Show Host  17     21     14    15
    Vice President             14      4     27    11
    College Professor          10     12      7     8
    President                   6      2     12     4
    (Other)                    13     10     12    21
    (Don't know)                8      6     10     8
    Source: Fox News poll, July 21-22; +/-3.

    Maureen Dowd:

    As McCain pal and Republican strategist Mike Murphy so sagely observed recently: “If Sarah Palin looked like Golda Meir, would we even be talking about her today?”

    Sarah should follow her own advice to Hillary and work harder to be capable. Until then, she’s all cage, no bird.

    And if she wants to be a “homemaker”, she should learn to cook something other than a mooseburger. Until then, she’s all oven, no cookie. Sarah, you are hot, but all air,  no care &  so unfair! Got no dough? No bake, no cake for ya! You are all fake, all make. Sorry Sarah, for all’s sake, no take! Gee…that was bad. I hope it isn’t as bad as Palin’s poetics.

  • skkott 9:45 pm on Friday, July 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Irish,   

    some fun stuff from this week [UPDATED] 

    Interesting facts on Irish lineage via Harvard prof/Cambridge cop controversy.

    Poet John Lunderberg finds some found poems–but not a poet– in Sarah Palin.

    Vanity Fair copy edits Palin’s  resignation speech.

    And a Palin supporter edits the Vanity Fair’s edit. (No comedy here.)

    A hilarious yoga campaign to save Sarah’s knees.

    “It just rolled off the top of her head, all spontaneous-like, perfectly formed…[…]God, I’ll be sad when she gets a speechwriter…” Yes, you guessed it right; Sarah again. Mudflats reports on her latest speech.

    And a priceless Palin party poll underway.

    UPDATE on Palin saga:  Her farewell speech was no exception…

    Sarah Palin’s Gradual Descent Into Incoherency

    It’s like Peggy Noonan, Jack London, and William Faulkner wandered into the woods with three buttons of peyote and one typewriter, and only this speech emerged.

    And she wrote this speech! In advance, on paper! What does any of it mean? It is amazing. Twenty years ago she could competently descibe a dog race, three years ago she could articulate a position on the abortion issue, and this weekend she composed a resignation speech by throwing culture war stock phrases into a hat and dumping it upside down on a copy of The Paranoid Style in American Politics.

    And William Shanter  pays tribute on Conan O’ Brien show by performing her poetry set to music. (You can compare it with Sarah’s own performance here, poem begins at about 1:25 on video, and goes until 2:20) Below is the relevant extract, straight out of her farewell speech:

    soaring through nature’s finest show.
    Denali, the great one, soaring under the midnight sun.
    And then the extremes. In the winter time it’s the frozen road
    that is competing with the view of ice fogged frigid beauty,
    the cold though, doesn’t it split
    the Cheechakos from the Sourdoughs?
    And then in the summertime such extreme
    about a hundred and fifty degrees hotter
    than just some months ago, than
    just some months from now,
    with fireweed blooming
    along the frost heaves and merciless rivers that are rushing
    and carving
    and reminding us that here,
    Mother Nature wins.
    It is as throughout all Alaska that big wild
    good life teeming along the road that is
    north to the future.

    • derek 11:27 am on Saturday, July 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Yo skkott
      I’ve been painting houses lately, and on the job site Sahra Palin is the saviour. All the contractors are in love with her. They really think she is one of them.
      Personally I think our country is a crashing airplane and everyone is trying to keep it from crashing. I think it needs to crash so we can start fresh. Kind of like when lightning starts a forest fire and burns out the old dead wood so new trees can grow.
      I truly believe there is no solution for our situation. We have grown too large and too complex. Remember the story of the knot that was too complex, no one could untie it? Then a clever guy steps up and cuts it in half with a sword.
      In my opinion the are no politicians that have any solutions that will keep us from crashing, not one. I don’t believe any of them.
      All career politicians are crooks. We have a completely corrupted governmental system that cannot be fixed.
      I just hope the plane doesn’t crash on my house.

    • heath 11:35 am on Saturday, July 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      good entertainment. thx. loved the VF edit. was really dismayed by the response to it. my prayer for today: please let trying to read, think and write be a way for people to learn to read, think and write. and it is, I know. there’s the matter of time, though. may it be sooner, not later.

      derek, I was writing my thx when ur comment appeared like lightning above it. when I read about the story of the man with sword who cut the knot, all I could think of was: what if the knot was on a shoe? I have hopes for Obama.

      • derek 11:50 am on Saturday, July 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        heath, if it’s a shoe then it’s is way out of style and we need to go shopping for new shoes. I’m really not being pessimistic. I just believe nature has away of resetting balances.
        I think Obama is cool and all, but he’s fighting an inevitable losing battle. Our country, our world, is going through some serious changes and I don’t believe our current types of government, institutions or business models are structured to handle these changes.
        When the earth was flat we had ways of dealing with it, like not sailing to close to the edge. When we realized it was a ball we had to create new ways of dealing with it. We could sail without fear of falling off the edge.

        • heath 12:49 pm on Saturday, July 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply

          (what of the foot in the shoe, she whispered…)

          when they realized it was a ball, they took their fears in hand (because it was still the unknown for them) and sailed away. wherefore I have hope in Obama, who represents the best in all of us. he’s just one man. we are many. we can do it right, step by step, as long as we can see what we really are. he helps us see it.

          • derek 5:08 pm on Sunday, July 26, 2009 Permalink | Reply

            heath, have you ever overworked a painting or poem to the point where it just becomes muddy and no matter what you do it just gets muddier? I find i need to set that piece aside and start with a fresh canvas or blank page. That’s how i feel abut our world right now. Our politics, our institutions, religions and belief systems are out dated and muddy. They are no longer able to deal with our rapidly changing humanity. Things are moving at such a pace now that even the likes of someone as cool as Obama can’t keep up.

            I believe we are due for a new canvas.

            • heath 6:49 am on Monday, July 27, 2009 Permalink

              I put a work aside until I understand myself and the work better. the fault is with my understanding. work is continuous. each piece is a stop on a path. putting aside some work doesn’t take me off the path. in NYC, I’ve seen neighborhoods that the rest of the world wrote off, come back. I’ve seen others that were lovely fall. the effort to bring back a neighborhood is enormous, but it’s accomplished by individual acts, rooted in hope and self-confidence, over time. when a neighborhood falls, it’s because of neglect by many individuals in the same rough period of time — people acting out their hopeless, dismal feelings. I believe. I believe each of us makes a difference. I believe in not writing anything off until it takes itself off the stage of life. that point comes for everything. but life is given to things and people by offering support until that point. I wrote the poem below for the man I love. I share it here because it fits this discussion:


              Where something’s been.
              Smoothing a roughed-in idea
              of space and time
              along a shorthand edge.
              That’s a sketch.

              Pain’s a sketch of not,
              a roughed-in idea of fear
              that something’s
              never gonna be.
              The artist’s love fights not.
              With hand to paper,
              she whispers could.
              The edge
              she draws
              says is.

  • skkott 1:56 pm on Friday, July 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: personal,   

    Hi Grafers, been traveling lately in a t… 

    Hi Grafers, been traveling lately in a third world country with little access to decent internet. Derek, heath and Ed thanks for your responses to Oprah-Chopra article. I wanted to share my thoughts on Orac and Chopra, but I think I better give it a rest. I want to share some thoughts about Sarah Palin, but I quit that thought.

    Here’s something I just read that I like to share:

    “the sorrow of a rose” by annaruiz

    the sorrow of a rose
    in her thorns

    she makes peace
    with the blood-red sun

    how the sunlight
    into moon

    the finger
    trickles with tears.


    Although the imagery is cliched, this poem works for me. I think the power of this poem lies in the brilliant way in which the (cliched)imagery of the rose is connected with the (cliched)imagery of the ‘finger pointing to the moon’.

    P.S. Steve Toth, from the comment thread:

    “When winter comes
    roses lose their blossoms
    but hang on
    to their thorns”

    • heath 6:47 am on Saturday, July 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      the sorrows of a rose are aphids, beetles, borers, and powdery mildew, which deplete her of her energy, and leave her hard-put to maintain her thorn-protected sweetness and beauty. the rose has a dormant/bloom cycle until death. while blooming, she shares her essence with all, and only a little care is needed to strip her of part of her generous beauty without being hurt. while dormant, she offers rose hips as a vit C source in winter. what would we do without rosewater, rose petals, rose-petal and rose-hip jams, and rose-hip tea, and the flowers themselves, which have been woven through our lives and stories for eons?

      as it is, thorns make sense, protecting the rose from greater sorrows than she already bears. if the rose ever found herself watched over by every human on the planet, perhaps her thorns would soften and fall away. if a pricked finger really trickled with tears, it would never again harm a rose after its first act of having done so. but man has never given undefended beauty much mercy.

      the moon and sun know the rose’s story, and aren’t sentimental or cliched about it. they hold silence, and share their light with her.

      the beauty and sweetness of the rose are celebrated with good reason. her tender, generous stamina helps life seem more bearable.

      bless all gentle hands that touch her without destroying her. until there are enough of them, bless the rose’s thorns.

      • ed 4:09 am on Sunday, July 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        For all my care,
        the rose unfair
        does claw me

        With hided gloves
        I tend my loves
        The bull would gore me

        So clear my patch
        of this mismatch
        Let iris reassure me

    • derek 12:08 am on Wednesday, July 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Even though I’ve been pocked more times than I can remember,
      I keep going back, no gloves, fingers tingling from thorny pricks,
      to stop and take another sniff.

      • derek 12:10 am on Wednesday, July 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        or poked……..

      • heath 3:04 pm on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        with my oft-at-hand moralistic hat on: yeah, that’s what makes life good. 🙂

  • skkott 2:51 am on Sunday, June 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Deepak Chopra, Oprah, Quackery   


    Orac at Science blogs takes Deepak Chopra to task one more time after Chopra’s recent column criticizing NEWSWEEK’s brilliant cover article on Oprah promoting quackery on her show, “There is, however, one person who may cause Oprah a bit of trouble. Ironically, it’s one of her staunchest supporters. Indeed, it’s someone we’ve met many times before on this blog, and he’s outraged that NEWSWEEK would be so mean to Oprah. Indeed, I’m referring to a man for whom I once coined a term to describe his mystical, magical, pseudoscientific New Age blather. Oprah, meet Chopra. Deepak Chopra, that is. Again.”:

    Oprah and Chopra sittin’ in a tree…

    • derek 12:57 pm on Sunday, June 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Hey skkott
      Now who were you at IB? I don’t remember. People have used so many names. It’s nice to have another voice here though.

      Funny what people at Oprah and Deepak’s level of fame and recognition have to do to be there and what they have to do to stay there. I can’t imagine . One thing I do know is it takes a lot of people to be their fans and to hold them up. The things they say or try to say, in my opinion, are no more valid than anyone else. If people want to follow them in such a way as to believe whatever they say, then who is more foolish?

      When it comes to ones health and how to treat it, I believe everyone is different. For some it is not the delivery system but their belief in it that helps them. For some people total quackery works just fine and for some people it’s their belief in space age medical technology and some people believe that no medical intervention is best. I personally believe that most doctors and healers are shooting in the dark and hoping something works.

      My Dad was a doctor and my wife is an energy healer, I have seen results and failures in both practices. It really seems to boil down to the individual and how much they truly want to be healed. If someone wants to be healthy they will find a way that works for them. If that’s cutting off a chickens foot and lighting candles, good for them. If it’s getting cat scans and chemotherapy, good for them too. Some people suffer from debilitating illness and it is sad when they can not get the help they need because there are so many limitations put on them by the AMA. Some of those people could get relief from alternative medicine. Some are made worse by alternative medicine but the same can be said about mainstream western medicine as well.

      There is no one type of treatment that works for everyone. We are complex creatures with many variables within our own individual circumstances.

      I don’t know anything about you skkott but if you are trying to help people by educating them, then you should open your heart and allow people to seek what will help them, not diminish treatments that you have not experienced to work in your own personal life. It is often the belief in the treatment and the faith in the person treating them, more than the treatment it’s self, that helps people.

      I read a lot of the comments in Orac’s thread and it’s the same back and forth thing. People from each camp throwing stones at each other, while in the middle are people needing help but getting stones instead.

      There are many types of treatments because there are many types of people.


    • derek 2:57 pm on Sunday, June 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      You know skkott, I don’t think anyone here talks about Oprah or Deepak much at all. Your post was like a throw back to the old IB world, but it was kinda fun. Thanks


    • heath 6:42 pm on Sunday, June 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Dear Scott

      Chopra has valid points. Orac does too. Both have their own agendas, though.

      Reading Orac’s blog, I was struck by his frequent use of judgmental words meant to tell the reader how to feel. That made me uncomfortable with his attitude, even though many of his points are well taken.

      Orac says “Physicians are taught nutrition in medical school; they are taught prevention.” In my experience, doctors are as human and imperfect as the rest of us, and many fail to understand the importance of nutrition and prevention. Some of what they learn is old or incorrect, too. Many docs are susceptible to manipulation by pharma company reps, advertising, and so on.

      My criticism of Chopra is that he’s not as aware as he should be of his own vulnerability to fame and of-the-momentness.

      Personally, I’ve suffered more harm at the hands of doctors than you would expect in this day and age. My most recent misadventure was when an ER orthopedist decided to show off to two female interns by demonstrating how to reduce my dislocated shoulder. Unfortunately, he chose one of the most diffucult reduction maneuvers, my muscles were in spasm already, and he hadn’t practiced the maneuver for a while. Not only did he fail to reduce via the difficult method, he caused me immense pain and chipped my shoulder socket with my humerus when he let the bone go a little too soon and at the wrong angle. He took a 30-minute break, during which I had to have morphine administered because of the increase in pain he’d caused, then he came back with the first technique listed in most discussion of shoulder dislocation reductions, and used it to pop my arm back into its socket in 30 seconds, with no more pain to me. The technique needs three people, and he had to use the two internists. Of course, that took away any superiority he had still been able to maintain with them after his failure get my arm back into my shoulder. The poor guy couldn’t speak to me after he fixed me up, he was so humiliated. The two internists were doing their work with grins on their faces, after he finished up. And this great action took place in an ER, not at a bar or on the beach on the weekend. What price do patients pay for this kind of uneducated behavior? Uneducated in simple humanity, that is. That’s where many alternative medicine practitioners have an edge — because their approach is founded on a humanistic basis. They pay attention to their patients, and most often use conservative methods of treatment that are less likely to do immediate harm. Old methods, too. Many old, conservative methods have lasted through the years simply because they’ve always worked. So why be surprised if they still work even now?

      The prob isn’t with the medicine, it’s with the practitioners. Whenever ego steps between doctor and patient, damage is a likely outcome. Same is true for alternative medicine people. But our culture rewards doctors for egotistic, matlab blind, behavior, while it’s kind of hard on practitioners of alternative medicine. So maybe current social pressures keep alternative medicine more viable and less harmful than traditional medicine, so-called.

      Regarding Oprah, imho she’s been too rich for too long and is way more out of touch with many microrealities that are important to the rest of us than she should be, if she’s acting like a leader — which she is, despite her demurrals, both verbal and otherwise. That’s not any kind of jealousy of her success, on my part. I can feel in my bones that she’s frequently off-base, and I’ve felt it for about ten years.

      love, h

    • ed 5:48 am on Monday, June 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Hi skkott,
      give me Bruce Lipton any day….with a tiny pinch of my customary salt 😉


      We gotta move on….as one. There’s ‘gold’ in them thar ills 😉 The solution is the problem…..scan….


  • skkott 3:04 pm on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: intent   

    Any of you guys visiting Intent? Haven’… 

    Any of you guys visiting Intent? Haven’t been there for some time. What’s going on there?

    I think I should put a message out there in the openthread (an account I created after IB closed down) but I haven’t posted a new OT in at least a month.Many members joined in the conversations then. LPB had a OT going on for a while too, and then there was someone posting “theopenthread.”

    • heath 1:00 pm on Wednesday, April 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I looked for stuff from a few of the people we know. They all seem pretty quiet. It’s likely I can’t see all their activity cause I’m not a member. Maybe Graf people who are members have a better idea of the reality. This profile is still running an open thread: http://www.intent.com/openthread/profile — his last one was started in March, and it’s still open for comments.

      love, h

    • heath 1:01 pm on Wednesday, April 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Oh blimey, so that profile is you… 🙂

  • skkott 3:43 am on Saturday, April 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Hello all, this is Scott from intentblog… 

    Hello all, this is Scott from intentblog. Good to find you here — my pleasure to join you — under heather’s tree, looking forward for your contributions and  conversations here at Grafetti.


    • me2watson 5:16 am on Saturday, April 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Hello, Scott.

      Could you please refresh my memory?

      I remember a Scott & Kristin Masterson,

      are ye he? Karate guy? How did you find us?

      Welcome! Uncle Tree

      • skkott 2:58 pm on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Hey Keith, I am not the Karate guy. I found you as I got in touch with heath. I used post as Scott Tiger at IntentBlog: http://tinyurl.com/cxj6e2
        Thanks all, Keith, heath, ed, Bonnie and Dara for your warm welcome.

    • heath 7:12 am on Saturday, April 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Dear Scott, it’s good to see you here. Welcome.
      love, h

    • ed 1:20 pm on Saturday, April 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Welcome, Scott T.

      You were good company at IB. Looking forward to your ginger stripes 😉


    • Bonnie 1:50 pm on Saturday, April 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Hello and Welcome Scott.


    • Dara 10:36 am on Monday, April 6, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Welcome. Been away for a while, playing catching up.


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